Board of Education releases statement on CSCOPE - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Board of Education releases statement on CSCOPE

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From the Texas Education Agency:

(TEA) - Today's action by the CSCOPE governing board to remove all lesson plans from its website will substantially restructure this online curriculum product and is a recognition of the concerns raised by Texas parents, State Board of Education members, and legislators, said State Board of Education (SBOE) Chair Barbara Cargill.

"The CSCOPE Ad Hoc Committee that I appointed in March spent many hours designing a process to review the CSCOPE social studies material. We wanted to make sure our schoolchildren were being taught with an accurate and high quality product. On behalf of the board, I'd like to express our gratitude to the 311 parents, teachers, industry leaders, and other citizens who volunteered to serve on the review panels," Cargill said. "Now that the CSCOPE governing board has voted to eliminate lesson plans, this review is no longer necessary."

 "The SBOE is very supportive of online instructional materials. They are a valuable tool for teachers and students, but it is obvious that these materials must be vetted. CSCOPE has vividly shown what can happen with content when it is left unchecked and with limited parental access." According to the Texas Education Code 26.006, parents are "entitled to review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent's child; and review each test administered to the parent's child after the test is administered."

Cargill also noted that citizens should know that under current state law, the board only has the authority to review instructional materials to make sure they are error-free and that they cover the state's curriculum standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The board and, therefore the review panels, do not have authority to rate the quality of the content. "I encourage legislators to look at this issue very closely," Cargill said.

"The SBOE stands ready to assist in the review of other online material through the normal instructional materials review process." However with no authority over quality of content, Cargill expressed concern that objectionable material will find its way into classrooms. "I strongly encourage parents to become familiar with their child's instructional materials and to speak up when they discover content that clearly is biased, incorrect or that conflicts with the values and principles of our state and nation."

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